The Rising India Summit 2019 brings together the finest names of Indian politics, business, and sports among other spheres to discuss the path forward for the nation's development. On Monday, the opening panel discussion began with Baba Ramdev and Sadhguru who engaged in a conversation with Prasoon Joshi. Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Piyush Goyal conversed with Shereen Bhan, the editor of CNBC-TV18. MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath, Suneeta Reddy, managing director of Apollo Hospitals and SpiceJet Airlines’ Ajay Singh among others were also present. And finally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived to deliver the keynote of the summit. His session was titled ‘Beyond Politics: Defining National Priorities’. Read on for the best excerpts of his speech.
As he began...
"Since you are journalists, I will opt for your favourite way to describe things. Before 2014, things that were supposed to rise were on a downfall, and vice versa," the Prime Minister began his speech saying, as he was set with a list of statistics.
Mehengai Dayan Khaye Jaat Hai...
"Let us talk about inflation. We all know that prices of commodities should be low. But they were increasing. Journalists would remember that 'Mehengai Dayan Khaye Jaat Hai' was a phrase, used frequently in shows. Back then, it was 10 percent. Now, it has come down to 2 or 3 per cent," he said, referring to the inflation that India suffered during UPA rule, that caused the economy to weaken.
View this post on Instagram
"Inflation back then was 10 percent, now it is as low as 2-3 percent." - PM @narendramodi at #News18RisingIndia . . . . #News18RisingIndia #news18 #politics #inflation #jobs #news
On giving tax benefits to the middle class
Income slab up to Rs 5 lakh was recently exempted of income tax. The PM reminded us of that as he said, "The middle class used to ask for rebates but they were never spared. Our Government first exempted income till Rs 2.5 lakh. Then we taxed the rest till Rs 5 lakh on 10%. Now, we have exempted anyone who earns up to Rs 5 lakh, of tax".
From fragile to fastest
He also emphasised that the UPA Government had taken India one of the five most fragile economies in the world. Now, India is one of the five fastest growing economies of the world. Even in business ranking, India had slipped down to 142 from 132. "We are now on 77, we have elevated by 23 spots," he said.
Introducing bank accounts of the poor
Many did not and do not agree to the idea of bank accounts for farmers and labourers, citing that it is a fancy idea for a BPL farmer to own an account when he barely even gets food. "When we began Jan Dhan Yojana, we were made fun of. People used to wonder why were we opening bank accounts for the poor. Some even asked what was the use of a bank account when people had nothing to eat. W
e kept introducing schemes for people and the money is now straight transferred to their bank accounts. Our Government has sent out almost Rs 6 lakh crore rupees to people's bank accounts. And I am proud to say that unlike before, they don't receive 15 paise out of 100 paise. They receive the full amount," he said, explaining how the primary motto of introducing bank accounts was to eliminate the middlemen.
AADHAR, a boon?
In his speech, Modi also attempted to explain how linking AADHAR, bank accounts and mobiles proved particularly beneficial for many and helped the Government combat corruption. "When we linked general accounts, Aadhar cards and mobile numbers, too many fake documents were exposed. If your channel has 50 such people who receive their salaries every month but they don't exist, how will it survive? That's what was happening in our country. People who were never born were receiving money. Almost 8 crore fake bank accounts have been sealed and we saved Rs 1,10,000 crore that earlier went to the middlemen or to people who were not authentic. That is what has irked everyone. All the corrupt people who would earlier eat their share of the cream are now jobless," he said.
The two words of bad luck...
"Do you know the two words of bad luck in the country? You take up any work, they will ask you, 'Mera Kya' (How's it my problem)?' 'Mera Kya' and 'Mujhe Kya' are what caused the country's downfall," the PM chuckled.
Unemployment- a myth or a reality?
Here's what the PM said, rubbishing reports stating India was suffering from major unemployment.
"India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Without new employment and opportunities, how is that even possible? 4 crore people have drawn loans for the very first time, for their own small ventures. Is it even possible that these people were sanctioned loans but earned nothing? In the last financial year, more than 7 lakh cars have been sold. Many crores are people are consuming the aviation service today. I know that all is still not done and more work needs to be done on the job sector. That's why I am running around. I am confident, we will emerge to be a global example in terms of employment soon".
The right to criticise
"Be it a media professional, a lawyer, a saint or anyone else, it is everyone's responsibility to point out the lackings. I am grateful to you all for fulfilling your responsibility. But let us all engage in constructive criticism," he concluded.